“Sacramentals” in the Home
In my friend’s home, the dining room table is definitely a “Sacramental”. Over four decades of birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations, athletic victories, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners were celebrated around that magnificent mahogany table. Countless laughs and tears were shared along with the food and drink.
The collective nicks and scars from toppled wine glasses and gravy drippings by exuberant celebrants are testimony of good times, past. My friend never considered the restorative refinishing to the table’s original pristine shine. Those time-worn blemishes are badges of honor never to be erased by the specious patina of new glossy stains and varnish. While bruised & beaten, that joyous & glorious dining table serves as a family memorial to all that was true and good throughout the years.
Along with this sacred family table, is the valued tradition of “Customizing a Blessing” in honor of a specific occasion. For example, if the family were celebrating a wedding anniversary, the last line of the “Blessing” would be changed accordingly:
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face, and the rain fall soft on your fields.
And for the rest of your wedded life, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Other adaptations are:
- “And for the rest of your new productive career…
- “And for your successful surgery & speedy recovery…”
- And for your successful graduation from High School…from College…etc.
- And for your soccer championship…basketball championship…tennis… golf, etc.
- “And for repair-free enjoyment in your new home…”
And so on, and so on…
These adaptive “Blessings” are an integral part of family traditions celebrated around the dining table. The term “Sacramental” elevates family celebrations to the realm of something “Holy”. They are clearly celebrations of love. They are functional expressions of Mother Theresa’s sage advice, “If you want world peace, go home and love your family.” Be a “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.
So, that dining table supported more than dishes and serving platters & bowls. That dining table supported his family’s “Loving Spirit”, collectively and individually. It provided strength “To stand on mountains. It was a safe harbor during stormy seas.” It encouraged All: “To be all that one could be.”
All family and guests shared the generous servings of those supportive delicacies, as they were freely passed around that magnificent mahogany table. In the stillness of the night, the table emitted no groaning creaks. Only the echoes of lingering laughter and visions of hugs and kisses, were heard & seen.
The above music video expresses exactly what Mother Theresa had in mind:
If you want World Peace, Go Home and Love Your family.”
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